What does The United Methodist Church teach about the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth?
The Articles of Religion and the Confession of Faith, the doctrinal statements of The United Methodist Church, include statements of belief that Jesus was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary.
Article II (Articles of Religion) says, "The Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin..." Read the complete text of this article.
Article II (Confession of Faith) says, 'We believe in Jesus Christ... born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit....'" Read the complete text of this article.
The Immaculate Conception is different from the Virgin birth. It is a teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that the Virgin Mary was conceived without any stain of original sin. It is a belief about Mary, not about the birth or conception of Jesus.
The United Methodist Church does not subscribe to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. John Wesley and others in the Anglican Church and the non-conforming Protestant churches of England held negative views of some Roman Catholic doctrine and practice, thus this teaching is not part of our doctrinal heritage.
You can read more about the meaning of the Immaculate Conception in the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia.